tv CNN Newsroom CNN September 4, 2012 6:00am-8:00am PDT
north carolina, patrick mchenry, will be with us. all that and much more tomorrow on "starting point." now it's time to get to "cnn newsroom" with zoraida sambolin. good morning, soledad. happening now in the newsroom, battling books on the osama bin laden raid. as "no easy day" is released today, special ops veterans respond with their book called "no easy op." new questions this morning as accusations of bad blood and bitterness fly. turn left, but lean right. call it the nascar vote. stereo typically southern white men usually go red, so what can president obama do to gain ground with these important voters money, money, money. your job and your raise. find out where to score the most money. and oh, what a night. gabby, mikhaila, opening last night's dodgers game.
"cnn newsroom" begins right now. good morning. i'm zoraida sambolin sitting in for carol costello. just hours from now, the curtain will go up at the democratic national convention. president obama is looking for the bounce that seemed to elude republican nominee right mitt romney. tonight, democrats will kick off with a rising star in the party, san antonio mayor julian castro, who will deliver the keynote address just as obama did eight years ago. also speaking tonight, first lady michelle obama. her job, reach out to women voters of both parties. cnn's edlavendera has a closer look. but, first, dana bash, what are the main priorities that democrats will be pushing tonight? >> reporter: well, democratic officials say the main priority is to remind people that this
just isn't just about whether or not they should fire or hire again president obama. it's that it's going to be a choice. and this is really if you talk to any strategist of any party kind of the way you run an incumbent's re-election campaign. that it is a choice between the president and mitt romney. so they'll try to what they say is crystallize that choice between the two men. and they're also going to try to emphasize the fact that as president obama has been doing for months that they believe that the democratic party is the party for the middle class. and also talk about, they say, the accomplishments that they feel that the president hasn't gotten enough credit for, bailing out the auto industry. they believe the health care bill. they'll talk about the most popular points of that, particularly banning -- no ban on pre-existing conditions and things like that. so those are the kinds of themes that we're going to hear. and you mentioned the keynote speaker tonight, julian castro. he is going to be one to watch for sure.
he is 37 years old. an identical twin. and his twin is going to introduce him. he is also a politician. so that will be kind of the opening salvo for this convention. >> actually as we were watching the pictures there, dana, michelle obama was front and center. how important is her role tonight? >> reporter: very important. you remember four years ago what a difference four years makes, right? she was somebody who they were a little bit worried about inside the obama campaign because she might have come across as harsh, and they were trying to soften her image when she got to the democratic convention. not anymore. not at all. she is incredibly popular. one of the most popular political figures in the country. so they are hoping that some of that kind of carries over to her husband, that she can remind people why they want the obamas back in white house for another four years. >> all right, dana. i know you're working really hard for us and really long hours. we really appreciate it. dana bash live for us. thank you. now let's turn our focus to the man delivering tonight's
keynote address. julian castro is the mayor of san antonio, and his fans are already predicting future runs for governor and perhaps even president. tonight he becomes the first latino to deliver the convention's signature primetime address. and he reflects the party's growing focus on the hispanic vote. this year's dnc has a record number of latino delegates as well. ed lavendera is in dallas with a much closer look at julian castro. what did you find out about him? >> well, he is an interesting guy here in texas. you know, a lot of people have been paying close attention to him. people have been talking about that he could be the first latino governor of texas, perhaps even the first latino president of the united states. he knows full well why he was picked to give this speech. in his words he said, i'm young, and i'm hispanic. >> hey, everybody. i'm julian castro. >> reporter: first thing you need to know, it's pronounced julian castro. the j is silent. not julian. but even if you get the spanish
wrong, don't worry. san antonio's mayor has never mastered spanish either. >> i understand it better than i speak it. i grew up in my household with my mother and grandmother mostly speaking english. i understand it, but speaking it back is always the challenge. >> reporter: julian castro's grandmother immigrated from mexico and worked in the chicano movement in san antonio. from the humble beginnings, julian and his twin brother went on to stanford university and harvard law school. now he is a rising star in the democratic party, tapped to give the keynote speech at the democratic convention, the same speech an unknown barack obama gave at the convention in 2004. >> you get talked about as someone who could be the first hispanic governor of texas. some people even suggested the first hispanic president of the united states. do you like that kind of talk? can you handle that kind of pressure? >> i'd be lying if i said that's not flattering. of course, it's flattering to anybody. but the biggest mistake that i
could make or anybody could make in this situation is to believe the press. to believe the hype. >> reporter: castro was elected mayor in 2009 and then re-elected with 82% of the vote. now he's 37. the youngest mayor of a top 50 city in the united states. he's also used to the baby face jokes. >> i think one of the funnier things that has happened to you when you first met president obama, you jokingly asked if you were the intern. >> that's right. yeah. >> so you being asked to do this speech, is that kind of making up for that jab? >> i don't know, i don't know. but i always got the age jokes at different points in my career. >> is that still happening? >> well, i don't know. but i'm starting to get the gray hair from my 3-year-old daughter and the politics. >> reporter: this the biggest speech of his career. latinos enjoyed prominent speaking roles at the republican national convention, and castro must convince independents and
latinos to stay with president obama. >> there are a lot of latino leaders who say that president obama has not been a friend of the latino community. >> under any score, education, health care, immigration, on number of issues he has been a very effective advocate for the latino community. >> reporter: he is in the midst of pushing for a small sales tax hikes to pay for preschool for underprivileged children in san antonio. castro's political opponents said that the brothers were trying to fool the massive crowd. castro laughs it off now. >> how can we be sure that you're going to be the castro brother giving the speech tonight? >> well, he says he's a lot better looking than i am. so there you go. and the wedding ring is another good way. >> actually, his brother, joaquin, will introduce his twin at the convention. you'll see the castro brothers standing side-by-side.
and, zoraida, yesterday, i went onto the website of the san antonio newspaper and for a city that knows these brothers so well, they actually had a series of pictures where you could try to pick which one was joaquin and which one was julian. even in a city that has known the brothers for so long, they are still playing those games. >> they are tough to tell apart. how does he feel about the pressure with the comparisons to obama when he delivered that address? >> well, you know, i think he knows that at the end of the day it will be about substance. that he has to deliver on that front. and deliver just a broader message than just going after young latinos. he has to appeal on that level. but on a personal note for him, he was a little bit nervous. this will only be the second speech, i'm told, that he gives using a teleprompter. so he has finished the speech. it's prepared. he says he has a little bit of nerves having to deal with that since it's only the second time
he's done it. he thinks after he gets the first few lines, he'll be able to settle in. but he is frankly a little nervous about that. >> well, i don't blame him. he has abimpressive resume, but a huge audience. ed, we appreciate that. that was a great piece. thank you. >> you bet. and cnn's primetime coverage of the democratic national convention kicks off tonight. that is at 7:00 eastern. join wolf blitzer, anderson cooper, and the rest of cnn's political team as they set the stage for tonight's speakers. and just as obama campaigned during the republican national convention, the gop ticket is returning the favor. vice presidential nominee paul ryan is stumping in two battle ground states. he visits westlake, ohio, at lunchtime. and then travels on to cedar rapids, iowa. both states could prove critical in the election. ryan started the day by making the rounds on the morning's network shows. >> if you look at the president's policies, he calls them investments. it's borrowing money and spending money from washington,
picking winners and losers, spending money on favorite, you know, people like solyndra through spending, tax breaks, and regulations does not work. if that kind of economics worked, we would be entering a golden age along with greece. that doesn't work. so i think the incomplete speaks for itself. >> ryan's running mate is off the campaign trail today. mitt romney is spending most of this week in vermont preparing for the upcoming presidential debates. the controversial book detailing the special forces mission that ended with the death of osama bin laden is now available. it is called "no easy day." it's a first-hand account of the mission and was officially released this morning. the book, which is at the top of amazon's bestseller list, was written by a former navy s.e.a.l. under the pen name mark owen. barbara starr is joining us live from the pentagon. barbara, this is a very popular book. highly controversial. how is the pentagon reacting? >> well, it's another day.
when i walked into work here at the cnn booth in the pentagon, a top official looked at me said another day covering the navy s.e.a.l. book? and i said you bet. it is number one on amazon so it's getting a lot of attention. the pentagon knows that. they had put the marker on the table last week that they might consider legal action against the author and the publisher. and so now everybody is waiting to see what the pentagon's next step is. will the government decide to go after the author, matt bissonnette, that's his real name, for breaking his nondisclosure agreement that he signed when he was on military duty? basically promising to put any book that potentially contained classified information through security review. but still, now it's available today. everybody can go on amazon, go to their neighborhood bookstore, go to the mall, buy a copy and read it for themselves if they choose to. it's been a pretty good marketing plan, zoraida, hasn't it? a lot of attention. a lot of hype. and now it's number one. >> absolutely. but that is the point here.
it's been marketed for a very long time. you would think if they were going to take legal action, they would have done it before the book was released. >> well, you know, what happened was it was only in those last few days before the letr was written last week that the pentagon said it had any idea that the book was even in the works. they didn't even know this guy was writing a book, they say. so they had to first get a prepublication copy in their hands, have the lawyers look at it, decide what they wanted to do, and we're waiting to hear what their final word is. >> wel there are other former special ops members that released an ebook, called "no easy op." it was released yesterday by a website run by former commandos. according to "the new york times," this ebook details bad blood between mark bissonnette and his former unit. what can you tell us about this? >> well, the first thing is, this ebook also for sale. so let's be very clear.
another route for someone to make money off of this. i think that's really important to say. we looked at that ebook. none of it has got named sources in it. there are a lot of suggestions. a lot of speculation that matt bissonnette may have had a grudge. his co-author has put out a statement saying that he only wrote the book because he wanted to tell the true story. so this ebook still also getting attention, earning somebody a lot of money, but no sourcing really behind it at this point. >> barbara, i am going to predict that tomorrow morning, you will still be having this same conversation whenou walk in. barbara starr -- >> as long as you're here, zoraida, for me to talk to. >> thank you. we appreciate it. it is prince harry's first public appearance since his, shall we say, indiscretions in las vegas. we're going to hear what he said about that coming up next. full tank brain freeze cake donettes rolling hot dogs bag of ice anti-freeze wash and dry diesel
still causing trouble nearly a week after landfall. new forecasts today says thunderstorms could add more water. nearly 3,000 people along the gulf coast still do not have power, and there are scorching temperatures there as well. in money news, chrysler is reporting the best august sales in five years. the automaker says sales increased 14% over last year's numbers. it's the 29th consecutive month of sales gains. and prince harry is in the news again, but this time for poking fun at his vegas antics. the prince was trying to do a little damage control at the well child awards in london yesterday. >> all of you, children, families, nurses, doctors, careers, volunteers, are quite frankly too remarkable for me adequately describe with mere words. but never one to be shy in coming forward, i'll give it a go. >> prince harry seemed to be referring to his less than fully
clothed escapades in las vegas last month. the democrats have just released their party platform, which convention delegates will adopt later today in charlotte. the 40-page platform uses new language in support of its big issues. let's bring in paul steinhauser to look at them and compare with the republicans. abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy. there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way. a little bit different than the gop's stance, paul. >> very different. and the democratic platform also supports roe v. wade. the supreme court decision that legalized abortion in the 1970s. and the republican platform that was passed last week in tampa was very different. on abortion, the republican platform bans abortion in all cases, even rape and incest, and when the life is the mother is in danger. so a very clear difference in abortion on this platform, which
be passed, voted on and accepted at 5:00 eastern when the convention gets underway, zoraida. >> and here's what the platform says about the freedom to marry. we support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. and it goes on to talk about the freedom of churches as well. what can you tell us about that? >> it gives churches the freedom to make their own rules when it comes to same-sex marriage. the republican platform very, very different on this issue. the republican platform affirms the rights of states and the federal government not to recognize same-sex marriage, and in fact supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. very different. >> and another issue that's really big, health care. it says we believe accessible, affordable, high quality health care is part of the american promise, that americans should have the security that comes with good health care and that no one should go broke because they get sick.
paul, a shot across the boat to obama care critics? >> very much so. and the platform also says it wants to build on the affordable care act, aka obama care, and take it even further, whereas the republican platform says that the republican president, if elected in november, first thing that republican president should do on his first day in office would be to use his presidential waiver to halt the progress of the statesn carrying out obama care. again, a very, very big difference. we've heard a air /* care. so very stark contrast between here today in charlotte and what we saw last week in tampa. >> paul, will you come back at 10:00 and talk about the other platforms as well? >> i'm here for you. >> thank you, paul. we appreciate it. one state seems to be dominating job growth, but not all jobs are created equal. we'll tell you where you can find the hot jobs.
welcome back. 24 minutes past the hour. when it comes to disappearing jobs, those that pay middle income wages are being replaced with jobs that pay low income wages. that is according to a new report. but where you live also comes into play when you are looking for a better paying job. felicia taylor is live at the new york stock exchange with more on where the jobs are. >> yeah. this is exactly what the question is for most people. where can they find a job. and this is part of the best places to live series where they
found 25 counties around the country that have rapid job growth. and yes, i said rapid job growth. so here are the top three. beginning with williamson county, texas. that's the third spot, just north of austin. money magazine says because it has a favorable tax structure, the county is attracting and actually bringing businesses into the area. so those are sort of willing to pick up and move. they are inciting them to do so. we have fort bend county, also in texas, in the houston metro area. it too has a favorable tax structure and a lot of energy sector jobs. that's fuelling the job growth there. no pun intended. and the number one place for job growth, loudoun county, virginia, just outside of washington, d.c. loudoun is a huge hub for tech sector jobs. aol and verizon two major employers there, and it's now being called data center alley. that's because over 4 million square feet of data storage facilities are operating in the
county. you can see all 25 job growing cities as cnnmoney.com. >> felicia, maybe we should move to texas. seven of the top 10. why is that texas seems to be such a hotbed for growth? >> well, you know, it's all because of taxes. and that's a big burden for businesses because it's a major responsibility. texas is one of just seven states with no state income tax. obviously, that's good news. the tax foundation ranks it number nine on its state business climate index. number one on that list, though, is wyoming. so what's the major difference between the two states? it's just that texas has a lot more people, a lot more urban areas. it makes it more attractive for business. and frankly, for people as well, because that means more likely they are going to see better school systems and a thriving metropolitan area just makes it an easier sell for business because there's more people who are going to buy their products. very simple. >> yeah. i think they have one of the top
cities as well. i hear they have one of the top cities to live in too. i'll join you there. felicia taylor live from the new york stock exchange. thank you for that. and with all eyes on charlotte and the democrats this week, what's the gop up to? we're going to hear from the rnc about their strategy. that's ahead.
growing humanitarian crisis in syria. the u.n. says more than 103,000 syrians left the country in august. almost double the number of refugees from the past 17 months combined. despite pleas from relief agencies for a cease-fire to deliver aid, fighting between rebels and regime forces has intensified. and secretary of state hillary clinton arrives in beijing today trying to prevent the u.s. from being drawn into a regional conflict. china is involved in a tense standoff with japan over disputed islands in the south china sea. while clinton has said that the u.s. does not take a position on the issue, beijing blames her for adding to the tensions. president obama loves basketball, and he is using an nba analogy as an election strategy. "the new york post" reports on this conversation inside the obama campaign's huddle. no matter what moves mr. romney made, the president said he and his team were going to cut him
off and block him at every turn. we're the miami heat and he is jeremy lin the president said. he was referring to a game in february when the heat shut down the young point guard. as democrats kick off their national convention, it's in charlotte, north carolina, nascar country. the sport has strong ties to republicans. but north carolina is a key swing state in this election. and president obama is slipping among nascar's biggest fan base, the white male voter. we get our report this morning from brianna keilar. >> reporter: charlotte, north carolina, home to the nascar hall of fame, this is the epicenter for the hard-driving engine-revving sport. while nascar consists of a whole lot of left turns, the typical nascar voter steers to the right. winston kelly is the head of the hall of fame, and a nascar radio commentator. this might not always be the most supportive group for him. >> well, nascar has
traditionally as you said been a little bit more republican. but north carolina is very much a swing state. >> reporter: so who's your driver? >> probably dale jr. >> reporter: steven elliott happens to be visiting from atlanta during convention week. >> i'm kind of a little disappointed. i came in with a big fanfare. and with a lot of hope and promise. and i don't think he fulfilled a lot of those hopes and dreams that he was talking about. so i think he let a lot of people down. >> reporter: but the obama campaign isn't banking on voters like elliott. they have long been considered out of reach for the democratic party. and in the last four years, he's lost even more ground. >> the president is facing significant decline. especially with those blue collar white men. they have been the toughest audience for him right from the outset, but the numbers are possibly the lowest we've seen for any democratic nominee in possibly 40 years. >> reporter: exit polls from 2008 show that 57% of white males voted for john mccain. 41% for obama.
the latest numbers from this summer show the president has slipped eight percentage points more with this group, and that means president obama has to increasingly rely on voters who tend to be in his corner. hispanic, black, and young voters. and especially women. >> it was almost impossible for them to make a change in four years. so i think the next four years, why not give him another chance to see what he can do for the middle class? >> i voted for president obama. and i'll vote for him again. because i don't think that he's had enough time to correct the damage done by the republican party. so i just feel that, you know, he needs the time. >> reporter: this coalition of voters holds the key to victory for president obama if he can persuade them to turn out in big numbers. and he sure is trying. >> i'm counting out. i'm counting on you. i'm counting out.
if you're not registered to vote, then you've got to go to gottaregister.com. >> that is the big challenge, even with nascar voters who will overwhelmingly support mitt romney. nascar enthusiasts are more concerned about who wins the election in november or who's going to win the cup? >> who wins the sprint cup, no question about it. >> all right. so brianna keilar is joining me on the phone from charlotte. and president obam still has an uphill battle in nascar country. last month, mitt romney was in charlotte for a fundraiser, hosted by some of the biggest owners, drives, track operators, and executive team of the sport's governing body. so he has a lot of work ahead. >> reporter: he does have a lot of work ahead. and this is not a demographic that president obama normally has a lot of success with. i will say that the nascar vote is not monolithic. there are a lot of women who are nascar fans. while i was at the hall of fame,
i ran into a delegate from washington state. who is a giant jeff gordon fan. but obviously, very much supporting president obama. you know, mitt romney got a lot of flak, including from some of the president's friends, for one of the comments he said about that fundraiser. he said that he had some friends who are nascar team owners, which obviously they used to try to make him look kind of out of touch. but the thing is, a lot of nascar fans don't -- they identify actually with the team owners. there's such a sense of, oh, this is the guy running the team or this is the guy owning the team. and they are not actually that turned off by that. even though i think some other voters obviously might be. >> no. they would actually probably think that's a good thing. so nascar's long been a stop for a lot of those in politics. michelle obama, joe biden were grand marshals for a race as well. >> reporter: that's right. actually, they have done a lot of work with the troops, as you know. this has been an important cause near and dear to michelle obama and joe biden. and they were at the last race of the season.
last year, which is in miami. and some of the fans did not have a great reception. and this happened obviously as you know at some events they were booed by some fans. this is, again, not really the democratic demographic. but certainly it's something that president obama really needs to try to kind of contain what he can out of this group. and i will say, zoraida, there are some interesting parallels here between nascar and politics. the season for nascar also a very long season wraps up in november. and as i just mentioned, the last race of the season is in florida. that sometimes can decide it all. as we know in politics as well, it's a key battleground state. >> and i can't let you go without asking you if you drove any cars. did they let you get behind the wheel? >> reporter: no. i didn't get to. i have actually driven in some cars before because i'm a pretty big race fan. i'm a jeff gordon fan. but no, not this time.
this time i just got a look at all the different cars throughout the years. >> did you say that you are a jeff gordon fan? >> reporter: yes. i own a jeff gordon firesuit that he wore in a race. i'm a big nascarfan. >> do you have a tv in front of you right now? >> no. >> i'm going to paint a picture for you, briana. that is me behind the real of a car with jeff gordon. he was riding me around, and then a got a chance to drive him around. so a little reporter envy for you there. >> reporter: yeah. did you -- i'm so jealous. did you -- how did you on do? what did you think? >> he said i did a great job. but i have to tell you my car petered out. i had not driven a stick shift in a while. so i had just one of those moments. but it was a great, great time. that's a really fun piece. we appreciate it. and i love the analogy. it makes sense. briana brian /* -- briana kee r
d welcome back. it is 41 minutes past the hour. with all eyes on the democrats this week, the republicans are not missing a step. they have set up a war room in downtown charlotte, just outside the security perimeter, that surrounds the democratic national convention. and yesterday, they launched a counter offensive. >> every president since the great depression who ran for re-election has been able to say you are better off than you were four years ago, except, of course, jimmy carter and barack obama. >> joining me now from charlotte is rnc communications director sean spicer. and the rnc has their own agenda in charlotte during the democratic national convention. what can we expect? >> well, our goal over the next few days is to remind americans that four years ago, this president said that we were going to measure progress by the number of americans that had jobs and that were able to pay
the mortgage. stl unemployed.llion americans americans are not better off than they were. which is the fundamental question for any incumbent. and so we want to make sure that people know that barack obama hasn't fulfilled the promises he laid out. he hasn't fulfilled his agenda. americans aren't better off. most costs are up. energy costs, health care costs, college costs. and that mitt romney and paul ryan have a plan to get the economy moving. that will be their laser focus, day one. and get people back to work that need to be. >> ok. so let's look into last week. the latest polls show mitt romney did not get the anticipated bounce in the polls from last week's rnc. a gallup poll that we're talking about. are you concerned about that? >> not at all. i think it depends on, you know, who's looking at the poll. what we look at in that gallup poll is the likability and intensity. when you ask voters how committed are you to going out and voting for mitt romney on a scale of one to 10, we see a lot of 9s, 10s, 8s. the obama campaign are seeing
lower numbers, 6s and 5s. the democrats that have come over to mitt romney to vote for him are committed to change, because they feel like they have been let down by this president. so people coming over to our side, we got everything we wanted in that convention. >> last week's convention seems to have had little impact on voters. mitt romney's speech, 16% vote it poor or terrible. that is the lowest rating of any of the speeches gallup has tracked since 1996. how big is this with concerns to winning votes? >> well, look, i think women voters by and large if you look at how we're doing historically, mccain, bush '04, we are doing very, very well especially in the battle ground states. what you heard last week was a focus on the economy, getting people back to work and takes costs down. i think it's wrong to say women
voters have a separate set of issues. women are more concerned probably than males about the economy. they are worried about their families, paying their bills, saving for college. to say that women voters don't care about the economy and jobs, moving debt onto their kids is something ridiculous. mitt romney has a plan that deals with education, making us energy independent, championing small businesses, opening up new markets. those are things that i think every parent wants to see. that the next generation will be better than we have right now. which is not the feeling we have right now. >> i wasn't talking about the women voters, i was talking about voters in general. but let's talk about paul ryan. he seems to be mixing up some of his facts, including reference to the gm plant that shut down after obama was elected. a decision that was made before
barack obama took office. and recalling his own marathon time that was off by an hour. do you think that's a problem? >> the gm plant was a -- the democrats mistaken leely attack us. paul ryan said that president obama said if he was elected, he would keep it up. it closed. the president then wrote a letter to say he would do everything he can to get that plant back online. it is still closed. so paul ryan was 100% right. in fact, what that highlights is that the president who was then a candidate in 2008 said that plants like this would stay open with government help was wrong. once elected, he said i'll do everything in my power to keep open. he failed on that as well. paul ryan is 100% right, and that example highlights another failed promise by the president. so i think that's something that comes back as more of a problem for the dems for us. >> i know that paul ryan said he
had to explain what he meant. that he didn't misspeak, but he had to explain what he meant when he originally made those accusations. sean spicer, we appreciate it. it is 46 minutes past the hour. how can a movie create controversy before the democratic national convention starts? >> there's drugs. there's gangs. you really think you can turn this around? >> i can't say for certain. >> 100% yes. >> i'm trying to explain to you why your kid is tanking. >> sell it to some other jerk. this movie about the fight for education is ruffling a lot of feathers in charlotte. we'll explain why. great shot.
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welcome back. hollywood and politics mix all the time. just take the rnc. if the same venue where clint east wood made a memorable appearance, delegates got a sneak peek at a new film over the fight on education. it is called "won't back down." >> i punished her because she does not follow rules. >> are you insane? >> i'm going to get you out of
there. >> we are taking back our schools. go out there and fight for something better. >> you have to find a teacher who has the same ideas you do. >> we're going to try something new. >> we're going to work a little harder. me included. >> you want to take over the school with me? >> you think that's dumb. >> i think it's a knockout. >> there's drugs, there's gangs. >> this film is raising some eyebrows at the democratic national convention. michelle turner joins me from los angeles to explain why. where is the controversy? >> well, there is definitely controversy. the movie stars maggie gyllenhaal and viola davis. and they team up to turn around a failing public school. it's a hollywood school inspired by true events. you might ask what's the fuss about? it's about school choice and touches on the controversial parent trigger law.
it allows them to fire teachers and start from scratch. this is also a film about teacher unions which do not come off looking very good, actually. and generally speaking, the unions aren't prone to backing parent trigger laws. and the teachers' unions are one of the democratic parties' most biggest and loyal sources of contributions but parent triggers are getting support among high-profile democrats. so that's where the stir comes in. specifically also from los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa, a former organizer with united teachers. he also happens to be chairman of the democratic convention this year. so right now, this movie is playing for delegates at the convention, and it's highlighting a big divide among democrats when it comes to education reform. so that's where the controversy comes in. >> all right. michelle turner, thank you. michelle will be back with us next hour with more show biz headlines including why actor cal penn is in charlotte to help his former boss. the wait is finally over.
kelly ripa introduced former nfl star kelly strayhan as her new co host today. worst-kept secret ever. he replaces regis philbin who left in november. other front runners included neil patrick harris, seth myers and josh groban. coming up in the next hour of "newsroom," organic foods cost more, but are they better for you? the answer in 20 minutes. [ female announcer ] quaker yogurt granola bars. they're whole grain good... and yummy good. real fruit pieces. 12 grams of whole grains and a creamy yogurt flavored coating. quaker yogurt granola bars. treat yourself good.
in sports, the new york yankees held a ten-game lead in the a.l. easterlier this season. now it's almost gone. tampa bay's chris jimenez hit a single in the eighth inning as a's beat the yanks. the baltimore orioles are even closer. joe saunders and three other pitchers allowed just three hits as the birds down toronto for nothing. baltimore is a game back of first. tiger woods finished third in the deutsche bank championship yesterday, pocketing over a half million dollars. that check put woods over the $100 million mark for pga career earnings. woods notes that sam sneed won more than he has, but he has a bigger payout. olympic gold medalist andy murray moves on in the u.s.
open. he beat the canadian wry own yich last night. murray into the quarterfinals for the eighth straight time. murray has yet to win a major. three members of team usa's gold medal winning women's gymnastics team took in the dodgers last night. ross, maroney and gabby douglas threw out the ceremonial first pitch. in this case, pitches. looks like they had a good time doing that. and that's a look at sports. the next hour of cnn "newsroom" begins after a short break.
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welcome in. stories we're watching right now in the "newsroom." it is the democrats' turn in front of the cameras. day one of their national convention kicks off in charlotte with a visit from the first lady. and if you see organic on the label, do you think that it's healthier for you? that may not be the case. why researchers say regular fruits and vegetables may be just as healthy. toy shopping can be expensive. ask any parent. and it's hard to find the money for the hottest items on your kids' wish lists. now toys"r"us is making a change to help you and your pocketbook. and it's his first public appearance since his wild trip to las vegas. now prince harry is back in the spotlight, and he starts to rehabilitate his image a bit. "newsroom" starts right now.
good morning to you. i'm zoraida sitting in for costello. hours from now, the curtain goes up at the democratic national convention in north carolina. the president, meanwhile, remains on the road to charlotte. the campaign is winding its way to the dnc by stumping in key battle ground states. ohio yesterday, virginia today. and he's hammering away at the gop message from last week's convention. he says it's out of touch, out-of-date and targeting the middle class. >> despite all the challenges that we face in this new century, we saw three straight days of an agenda out of the last century. it was a rerun. of you might as well have watched it on black and white tv with some rabbit ears on there.
>> and this is the democrats' not so secret weapon. first lady michelle obama is delivering a prime time address tonight. her job, fire up the party faithful and reach out to women in both parties. mrs. obama will have to share the spotlight with a rising star in the democratic party, julian castro will deliver the address, a member of san antonio, and tonight becomes the first latino to deliver the convention's signature prime time address. suzanne malveaux is at the dnc and joins us with a closer look. suzanne, this is a plum assignment, right? >> it's a lot of work, too. it's a plum assignment and a lot of work. we're looking at a lot of things to kick off the dnc. first of all, people are watching the weather, clouds, possible thunderstorms, back and forth. first two days are going to be inside but the last day is going to be an outside arena. so they're going to figure out
whether or not they have to move it from the stadium. the second thing is, of course, what you mentioned before. michelle obama. she is going to be addressing the crowd, a lot of anticipation around what she's going to say. we expect that it is going to be very personal, very much about the president and their family and what it's been like for the last four years inside the white house. and third, of course, what you mentioned. and that is, of course, the keynote speaker this evening, who essentially could make history. a lot of comparisons to barack obama of eight years ago when he was the keynote speaker. this is a guy who essentially is young, he's handsome, and he has a very compelling life story. >> it's been my pleasure to serve as mayor -- >> meet julian castro, the popular mayor of san antonio, texas and a darling of the democratic base who will deliver the keynote speech at the national convention in charlotte. democrats have a long tradition of rolling out the parties' rising stars for such an honor. >> the keynote speech is to set the tone for the entire
convention. >> we will have a new president of the united states, a democrat born not to the blood of kings, but to the blood of pioneers and immigrants. >> clinton gave the keynote speech, barack obama has given a keynote speech. >> i'm julian castro -- >> castro knows the burden is on him to appeal to latinos, as well as inspire a broader audience of voters. >> the choice we have to make in this election is whether to continue to invest so everyone can reach the american dream or whether we're going to scale back from that. >> with an estimated 12 million latino voters expected to cast ballots in november, both campaigns are fighting hard for their attention. >> you can't just trot out with a brown face or spanish sir name and expect people are going to vote for your party or kaenlt. candidate. >> that's why a professor says the choice of julian castro to
deliver the keynote was smart. >> castro brings as a speaker a number of important characteristics. he is smart. he is well-educated. he is politically literate. he has a vision, and he has ambition. he, raised in a highly political family in san antonio. he unders the limit of ethnic politics. >> now he'll have to add persuasive speaker to his resume. you might have seen that last photo there. we do have something in common. he has an identical twin. i have a twin, as well. joaquin is his twin, also interested in politics. and i understand that joaquin is actually going to be introducing his twin brother, so that should be kind of a fun moment on stage. and as we mentioned, michelle obama, the first lady. everybody is going to be watching to see what kind of tone she actually sets here.
we have seen ann romney over the last couple days take some pretty hard hits against president obama. we are told that michelle obama will not go after the romney family, but rather will talk about her own family and about her husband. and we're going to be here for the rest of the week. we're doing our show live here. of we're very excited. we've got a couple folks, we're going to be talking to the mayor of charlotte. he's going to be here, anthony fox. former congressman barney frank and actor hill harper. all those guys we'll be talking to about how this is playing out. a lot of anticipation about these speakers coming up later today. >> i was glad you put a picture up of his twin because earlier ed lavandera said his twin filled in at an event. and personally, i don't think they look exactly alike. >> no, they don't look exactly alike. but being a twin myself, it's nice to have that person who can fill in every once in a while. you never know. it's fun and it's confusing.
but it's good to see the two of them together. they're very, very close. like a lot of twins are. >> you know, we're making a lot out of this being the first latino, and i believe that's at the dnc convention, because we did a little checking here. in 1984 at the gop convention, the first latina to deliver the keynote address was kathryn or tega, treasury of the united states, 38th treasurer of the united states. so just a little fact-checking there. because he's the first latino, but we do have the first latina with the gop. and we have images. thank you. we're looking forward to all your coverage. appreciate it. cnn coverage begins today at noon with wolf blitzer. submit your questions and get answers in real-time live chat. just log on to cnn.com/roundtable to participate. the gop ticket is returning the favor. vice presidential nominee paul ryan visits west lake, ohio at lunch time and travels on to
cedar rapids, iowa. those battle ground states could prove critical in the election. and ryan is embracing a strategy that succeeded for ronald reagan when he beat the incumbent president in 1980. both men are asking, are you better off than four years ago? >> the president has no record to run on. in fact, every president since the great depression who asked americans to send them into a second term could say that you were better off today than you were four years ago except for jimmy carter and for president barack obama. >> and republicans are rolling out a new ad, seizing on the sluggish economy. and the everyday americans who are out of work.
>> there are always going to be bumps on the road to recovery. >> i'm an american, not a bump in the road. >> the ad plays off of obama's comments that many see as dismissing the plight of struggling americans. today its powerful imagery is lighting up political discussions on the internet, as well. and the employment crisis has hit minorities, particularly hard. the latest labor stats show the jobless rate is disproportionately high. 14.1% for americans. 10.3% for hispanics. yet, these groups are key targets of this week's democratic national convention. senior congressional correspondent, dana bash in charlotte. how skeptical are minority voters of the democrats' promises? >> well, it's hard to imagine that they're not skeptical. given what you just showed, and frankly, given how skeptical can every american, no matter what their ethnic background is of politicians and big institutions
these days. but with regard to these two particular minority groups, hispanics and african-americans, there's no question that they prefer barack obama to mitt romney vastly. when it comes to hispanics, latinos in particular, obama has 72%. romney 25. and african-americans -- barack obama has 94%. so the issue is whether or not democrats can get them excited about the president. get them out to vote. they did a pretty good job, particularly in the african-american communities in swing states four years ago. and it's going to be a big question mark whether that enthusiasm is still there for the exact question that you just started this segment with. do they feel that the president answered their call, answered their quest for him to do something different for them. >> yeah, economy and jobs is always what we're talking about, right? so you have to wonder about that. another part of the platform focuses on immigration reform. says, quote, democrats are strongly committed to enacting
comprehensive immigration reform. immigration overhaul would include bringing undocumented immigrants out of the shadows, requiring illegal immigrants to get right with the law, learn english and pay taxes to get on a path toward citizenship. how important is this plank in the platform? >> oh, it's critically important. because that language was very similar language to what president bush, of course, a republican, was pushing for for a while. i remember covering him back in 2004 when he was running for re-election. he was very much in favor of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. and that really hurt president bush with fellow republicans and it hurt other republicans in particular who were running for re-election within their own party. that has -- that whole idea has really shifted over to the democrats. because of that. because republicans -- at least the base rebelled against the whole idea of a path to citizenship. still, even though it has
shifted, the latino community has been very, very disappointed in president obama, because he hasn't pushed for that kind of immigration reform, which you have to do legislatively. you have to do it through congress. and he didn't send up any legislation. i talked to so many latino leaders over the past several years since president obama has been in office and they were frustrated he didn't do enough to really push their agenda and push their issues to get these laws passed. it's tough. no question about it. but they wanted him to at least show leadership. >> absolutely. and that's a platform he ran in 2008, as well. so all right, dana bash, live, thank you very much. we appreciate it. 12 minutes past the hour. new this morning, chrysler is reporting the best august sales in five years. the automaker says sales increased 14% over last year's numbers. it's the 29th consecutive month of sales gains. cnn's if he leasha taylor joins me for a closer look. and if he these are good
numbers. >> they were up more than 10% on the year. basically, they're attributing a lot to the advertising that they saw at the olympic games. that seems to have helped sales of the chevy as well as sales of the cadillac brand were also strong. now to numbers about chrysler. it too having great numbers, 14% gain, and thabeet analysts' expectations. the major driver of that growth, the fiat, may i point out, the fiat was my first car. >> i love that car. >> i know, i love the fiat. they used to say fix it again. clearly no longer the age of the fiat, sales up 34% compared to last august. fiat did buy out chrysler three years ago and made the decision to bring back the little italian car to the u.s. market which i think was a great decision and obviously appears to be paying off. overall the gains were broad based with all of chrysler's
brands showing sales gains in august, jeep, dodge, ram truck and the fiat which i mentioned. we have a 20% increase for the month, most on track for another year of growth but still well off the 2000 numbers industry wide. and of course that's a big concern as the industry is still involved with a debt crisis in europe and that naturally is affecting sales overall. but of the big three, chrysler has the least exposure to europe, so clearly their numbers will probably outpace that for gm and ford. but, again, gm posting pretty well. interesting, the stock didn't react very much. ford stock right now is up you, just fractionally, though. >> live at the new york stock exchange, thank you. it is prince harry's first public appearance since pictures surfaced from his las vegas blowout. we'll hear what he said about all of that coming up next. at purina one, we believe small things can make a big difference. like how a little oil from here can be such a big thing in an old friend's life.
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address. secretary of state hillary clinton arrived in beijing this morning on a visit likely to revolve around chinese territorial tensions. over the past year, territorial disputes have broken out between china and its neighbors over islands in the south china sea. the u.s. is pushing for a peaceful code of conduct with regard to these territorial conflicts. they're calling him south korea's die-hard cop. this officer turned into an action hero when a suspect tried to flee the scene. the officer, take a look, jumped on the car's windshield and held on -- you can see him there it, for over 20 minutes. when the car finally stopped, the hero cop chased the suspect into the subway before finally slapping the cuffs on him. apt title there. and prince harry in the news again, this time for poking fun at his vegas antics. the prince was trying to do a little damage control at the wellchild awards in london yesterday. listen. >> all of you children, family,
nurses, doctors, careers, volunteers, are quite frankly, too remarkable for me adequately to describe with mere words. never one to be shy in coming forward, i'll give it a go. >> prince harry seemed to be referring to his less than fully clothed escapades in las vegas last week. and coming up next, organic foods. they definitely cost more than the regular stuff. but are they better for you? we're going to find out. [ male announcer ] let's say you need to take care of legal matters. wouldn't it be nice if there was an easier, less-expensive option than using a traditional lawyer? well, legalzoom came up with a better way. we took the best of the old and combined it with modern technology. together you get quality services on your terms, with total customer support. legalzoom documents have been accepted in all 50 states, and they're backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. so go to legalzoom.com today and see for yourself.
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over the shelves. and most people think organic means it is good for you, but it's bad for your wallet. some new research suggests foods labeled organic might not be anymore healthy than conventional foods. boy, do we have a lot of questions. cnn medical correspondent elizabeth cohen joins us from atlanta. i've got to tell you, elizabeth, this raises a lot of questions, because now you're going to wonder, should you buy organic? what did this study find? >> i know, all these people out there buying organic, thinking they are making themselves healthier. there you go, you and your family. right. mostly, probably you're thinking you're getting fewer pesticides. and so let's take a look. right now i have some organic produce right here. and i have some conventional produce over here. and there's no question that the nonorganic -- what some people call conventional is much more expensive. this was a couple dollars -- four, five, six dollars more than this group of produce. somewhere in that range. so no question it's more expensive. here's what the study found. i'm going to go really slowly,
zoraida, because this study is confusing and then bottom-line it for you. does that sound like a good way to go? >> yes. >> so the organic produce, when it looked at this study, has a 30% lower risk of pesticide contamination. right? so, you know, you're less likely to get pesticides when you eat organic. and when they look aturine, they can see that organic eaters have fewer pesticides in their body. that also sounds good. so you would think it would stand to reason then that it would be healthier to eat organic. but what this study said is that there is no science out there saying that having fewer pesticides in your body is better for you. that you're going to be healthier, less -- i know. it sounds crazy, right? but there is no science out there saying people who eat organic are less likely to get cancer or less likely to have heart attacks or whatever kind of health measure you want to use. so that's basically their finding. you'll have fewer pesticides in your body, from what we know, but it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to live longer or
be less likely to get terrible diseases. >> oh, my gosh. personally, i don't want anymore pesticides in my body. so i've heard that it if you buy organic, buy it if you are eating the skin of the fruit or vegetable. if not, that conventionally grown is fine. did this study look at that at all or not? >> this study didn't look at that. but that tactic that you're talking about many people use. and makes sense in a lot of ways. but let me get back to something you just said. i want fewer pesticides in my body. if you feel that way, then you should spend the money to eat organic. now, there are other people who will say, look, if there is no science telling me that fewer pesticides in my body is good for me, then why should i eat organic, why should i pay the extra money? so this really becomes a personal decision about what you want to do. if just the thought of more pesticides in your body makes you squirm, then go buy organic. if you there there is no science saying it's good for me, don't. >> what about women in particular, women potentially
who are pregnant? should they be concerned? aren't they more vulnerable to the toxins and the baby? >> pregnant women are in a different category, because there are some studies showing that pregnant women who had had high levels of pesticides in their body, when you measure the urine, that their children were more likely to have lower iqs and lower birth weight. so that is a separate category. >> i don't know, elizabeth. if it affects a baby like that, i would think that somehow those toxins and those pesticides are going to affect us, as well. but you know, that's me, a layperson talking here. >> i understand that. scientists like to be very specific. they say we want proof and they're not seeing the proof. >> all right. elizabeth cohen, live for us in atlanta, we appreciate it. for more about making the decision, organic versus nonorganic, head over to cnn.com/empoweredpatient. and today bookstores across the country are now able to sell the controversial book "no easy day." it details the navy s.e.a.l. mission to get osama bin laden, but it could bring a sea of change at the pentagon.
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welcome back, 29 minutes past the hour, checking top stories. we have a live look now at air force one. president obama will board that plane soon to head to norfolk, virginia. his last campaign stop before going to the democratic national convention. he will speak at a rally at norfolk state university about two hours from now. and closing arguments begin today in the trial of drew peterson. the former chicago area police sergeant is accused of murdering his third wife, kathleen savio. investigators reopened the savio case during the search for peterson's fourth wife, stacy. that's a picture of her there. she went missing five years ago. has never been found. and in money news, toys"r"us is offering free layaway on a
variety of products for holiday shoppers. can you believe that? holiday shoppers. the deal is good through october 31st. after that date, layaways will come with a $5 service fee. customers have to put a 20% down payment on the item and pay in full by december 16th. not good for procrastinators. actor michael clarke duncan has died at the age of 54, nominated for his role in the 1999 movie "the green mile." he suffered a heart attack back in july and sadly never fully recovered. the memoir of a former navy s.e.a.l. who was part of a team that killed osama bin laden goes on sale today. preorders of "no easy day" have rocketed the book to number one on amazon's best-seller list. last week, the pentagon threatened legal action against the author, accusing him of violating secrecy agreements. this book regarding the osama bin laden mission could be costly for mark bisonet, the
author. retired general james spider, marks is a cnn contributor. very nice to have you with us. we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> my first question, did the author violate any military codes by writing this book? >> i think he violated a nondisclosure agreement, and i think that's the essence of the issue right now, in that you not only have a security clearance, but in his case, he also signed an nda that said you will never talk about this operation. also bear in mind, this operation was classified by the cia. this was a navy s.e.a.l., s.e.a.l. team 6 deployed from the joint special operations command within the special ops command for the implementation of this operation. so fundamentally cia owns this thing. therefore, they own the authority to declassify it or turn it -- or to release what it is they want to release. he has no authority to do that. and that's the rub. >> so why is the pentagon just
threatening legal action now? you would think they would have jumped on this as soon as they heard about it. >> well, absolutely. and, in fact, recall that he released this, indicated that he had a publisher and it was going to be released without any preview or review in advance by the cia or the department of defense, which was his obligation to seek before he went to publish it. and then for the publisher and the author, all be it the author, this navy s.e.a.l. is an incredible patriot. put himself in harm's way, no question about that. but i think he broke the rules, and that's what the investigation will determine. he went forward and said i'm going to write this story probably to set the record straight in terms of what recollection of what occurred on the night that bin laden was killed, an operation that he was intimate. he was a part. he was in the building. he was in the house. so he wants to set that record straight, i'm certain. but he didn't have the authority to do that. that's the concern. and the department of defense,
along with cia, will do investigations. they have probably exchanged a lot of information. their findings will probably go to the department of justice, i'm guessing. >> so do you think that bisonet put himself or fellow s.e.a.l.s in danger by writing this book? >> the short answer is yes. he has identified himself as one of the s.e.a.l.s that was participating in this operation. and he's a private citizen now. and so that enhances his risk. i don't think he is worried about that, and there's very little he can do about that, other than to be very cautious. and he certainly will. but the concern is that he still has very dear buddies. his folks that were with him that he has trained with are still in harm's way. they haven't been identified by name, but tactics, techniques and procedures have been identified. and that certainly could enhance the risk that they put themselves to. but these are incredibly talented, very cautious and very
aggressive folks. so i think the short answer is yes. he's in harm's way. yes, he probably put some of his buddies in harm's way. that's going to happen. that's going to happen anyway, only because of the nature of the fight that we've been a part of over the course of the last decade. >> and what do you make about this competing book, "no easy op," released yesterday? >> well, i think what you have is a bunch of guys now jumping on a wagon, trying to beat him to some revenue stream. clearly, mark bisonet, this former s.e.a.l., has done by all accounts, a remarkable job of being very factual and objective about what took place. the issue is, he didn't have the authority to release some of this information, and that will be determined through investigation. clearly, there will be competitors that are out there that are publishing documents that probably don't have the same degree of veracity, but that will be determined by the public if they want to buy it and get into it. >> i suspect there will be a lot of changes that will happen in
light of this. general spider marks, thank you for joining us today. we really appreciate it. >> my pleasure. it is 35 minutes past the hour. she could be the democrats' golden girl. we will tell you about a new campaign to recruit her. betty white for the dnc. that's next. [ male announcer ] this is anna, her long day teaching the perfect swing
38 minutes past the hour. it is official, former nfl star michael strayhan is kelly ripa's new co host on the abc show "live." the retired nfl giant replaces reebis philbin. since november, the show has been a revolving door no search of someone to sit behind kelly. many have co hosted in recent months. you may have seen "harold and kumar go to white castle." now they go to the white house. they worked briefly for the obama administration in 2008. and now he is set to host the web broadcast of the democratic national convention this week. cnn's michelle turner joins me from los angeles. really? is all i can say. >> yes, really. you know what, though, he is very tuned into politics. and so the obama campaign
announced monday thattel calpin will be hosting thursday leading up to president obama's acceptance speech. and they made the announcement in a new video that features pin and his co star. check this out. >> just remember that i'm trusting you on this. and i'll see you then. >> who is that? is sounded intense. >> the president. >> sweet. >> kal penn hosts the -- >> this is the first time the democratic convention has involved live stream coverage. yeah, right. oh, boy. penn's live web cast will apparently involve a hollywood heavy lineup including singer marc anthony, elizabeth banks, olivia wild, fran drescher,
along with obama campaign officials. so a lot going on there. i'm sorry. i love harold and kumar movies. and so that just cracks me up. >> you know, i was reading this morning, it's michelle obama who is the one that's hip at the white house. i wonder if she had a hand in making that happen. but -- >> i'm sure. >> i also heard there is a campaign to get betty white involved, as well? i'm a big fan of this. >> yeah, me too. and who doesn't want betty white involved in whatever they're doing, right? but the big question is, can she be the democrats' clint eastwood? there is a growing online drive to get the beloved betty, who is a supporter of the president, to speak at the dnc this week. fans want the 90-year-old actress to introduce president obama on thursday. and in an online petition, it reads, governor romney can have clint eastwood and his improvisational skills because president obama has the one and only betty white. it's been signed by more than 6,000 supporters on change.org
and on facebook, more than 26,000 have liked the page titled bring betty white to the dnc. and you know, zoraida, it's not that far-fetched, because you might remember, betty white responded about two years ago, in 2010, hosted "saturday night live" after a facebook campaign encouraging the appearance went viral. so who knows. but her -- we should say, her reps are telling cnn entertainment, she has no plans to be at the convention. but that's not stopping her fans. so, you know, you never know what a little pressure can do. >> oh, you never know. it could still happen. and partisan politics aside, she is just a whole lot of fun. soou never know what will happen. >> isn't she fabulous? she is fantastic. >> yes. all right. michelle turner live for us in los angeles. we're going to take a quick break and we'll be right back. paradise! pack your bags, we'll leave tonight. uhh, it's next month, actually... eddie continues singing: to tickets to... paradiiiiiise! no four. remember? whoooa whooaa whooo!
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. 45 minutes past the hour. and you are looking at a live picture of the time warner cable arena. this is in charlotte. it's going to be a big night for democrats attending their national convention which gets under way officially today. speakers include former president jimmy carter, san antonio mayor julian castro and first lady michelle obama.
and representative chris van holland of maryland is among those attending that convention. the chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee joins us now from charlotte. very nice to have you this morning. thank you. >> it's great to be with you this morning. >> so the convention will be adopting the party platform today, and is that platform uses new language to express the party's views on a lot of controversial issues. can you talk to us about that? >> well, the core of the platform is to invest in middle class america, to make sure we build this economy from the middle out and the bottom up, rather than the republican theory, which crashed in the past, which is to provide another round of tax breaks for people like mitt romney and expect that all the trickle-down and lift the boats up. we know that didn't happen. and so we lay out very clearly in this document the fact that we want to empower middle class americans. we also deal with lots of other issues. we want to make sure we preserve
a woman's right to choose. you know, republicans keep saying they don't want the government to have any role in the economy. they didn't want to help the auto industry. but they're more than happy to have the government intrude on people's decisions when it comes to some of these social issues. so we lay out those issues, as well. >> and one question that republicans are asking voters. and this came out of the rnc. are you better off than you were four years ago? because of the economy, many americans are not. how can the democrats defend themselves on this point? >>el with, first of all, their argument relies on the american people having a collective case of amnesia. after all, the day president bush left office, we were losing 800,000 jobs every month in our economy. we've now had 29 consecutive months of positive, private-sector job growth. we need to build on that. and the president has put forward a plan to do that. we know that the plan put forward by mitt romney and paul ryan, they didn't want to talk
about it last week, just wanted to talk about the president. but their plan is nothing more than a rerun of the ideas that crashed the economy. this theory that somehow providing another round of tax breaks to people like mitt romney will help everybody else when, in fact, if you can do the math -- if you're not going to ask for one more penny from the very wealthiest and you want to reduce our deficit as we need to do, then you're going to whack everybody else in america harder. seniors on medicare, students who rely on investment in education, in our national infrastructure and things we need to power the economy. and so the math is pretty clear. if you say from the beginning, mitt romney and folks at the very top don't have to contribute one more penny to reduce our deficit, you are going to get everybody else. and so the president has said we're all in this together. we need to make some tough cuts. but we also have to ask folks who have done very well to pitch in. after all, when bill clinton asked the very wealthy to help contribute and take a balanced approach, we saw 20 million jobs
created. we actually balanced the budget. so let's move forward with a balanced approach and an approach that empowers all of america. not this trickle-down theory that was a bust. >> all right, representative chris van hollen of maryland, thank you for joining us. and good luck this evening. cnn's prime time coverage of the democratic national convention kicks off tonight at 7:00 eastern with wolf blitzer, anderson cooper and the rest of cnn's political team setting the stage for tonight's speakers. then during the 10:00 p.m. hour, first lady michelle obama addresses the delegates. and at midnight, pierce morgan wraps up the first night of the 2012 democratic national convention. more evacuations in southern california as hundreds of firefighters battle a growing wildfire. we'll have the latest on this story, just ahead. [ male announcer ] whether it's kevin's smartphone...
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visited laplace, louisiana. thousands remain in shelters and tens of thousands still do not have power. >> obviously, right now we're still in recovery mode. and that means that our biggest priority is helping to house people who have been displaced, making sure that they've got the resources they need to reenroll their kids in school, make sure they're able to get to their jobs. make sure that they can have the kind of support they need to get restarted. >> and wildlife also suffering. the u.s. coast guard reports three dead animals and three live animals were found covered in oil. they are searching for the source of that oil now. a wildfire in california san gabriel mountains is still burning, and only 5% contained. residents and campers evacuated monday as 400 firefighters tried to contain that blaze. authorities are investigating a vehicle found in the area where
they believe that fire started. when republicans kicked off their convention last week, they were worried about tropical storm isaac and coping with the rain. now democrats face a possibility of wet weather in charlotte, as well. meteorologist rob marciano joins me now. rob, we start with the midwest that could see severe weather today. >> yeah, threat today, zoraida. good morning once again from green bay through minneapolis, omaha included just northwest of chicago is where we might see damaging winds and hail. maybe an isolated tornado or two. across the u.s., a couple interesting things going on. it's fall so a strong yet across the northern tier, cool weather driving the severe weather but the heat across texas, oklahoma through the central plains will be excessive today and still warm across southern california where they're battling the wildfire you mentioned. they're getting a little bit of moisture from what's left of tropical storm john. so that may help a little bit. but rugged terrain as you mentioned. and winds will be erratic from time to time. back over towards the central -- the mid atlantic, i should say,
through the carolinas. here is charlotte. and for the past couple days, we've been in this soupy, unsettled air mass and that will continue today. pop-up thunderstorms from time to time. and when they drop, they'll drop some heavy rain. the question is thursday night, when the president is expected to give his speech, the big night, and that will be outdoors. that's where organizers are scratching their heads, trying to figure out what they should do. we'll see consistently unconsistent next couple days. and thursday we might start to see some clearing. but the timing of that is still questionable. so outdoor concerts and speeches in jeopardy. zoraida, back up to you. >> i know this morning when i was talking to john burrman, he said they will make that decision today. and by the way, we are grateful to have you back indoors and safe. great job on coverage of the hurricane. it was great. thank you. >> thank you, zoraida. behind the scenes at the democratic convention, we'll talk to the chief of event planning to find out what it takes to put on an extravaganza.
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event from plans to prime time. >> this is like event planning on steroids. it really is. how do you do it? you've got vendors, you need to connect with event spaces. how do you make sure the trains run on time when you've got security, you know, at its highest level? >> the key thing for us was preplanning as much as possible. because once an event starts, you need to be flexible to be able to handle those kinds of things if something starts to derail. so we put together a really talented staff of individuals, both from charlotte and from all over the country that have been working on this for, as i said, 14 months. >> and what kind of money are you talking about? and how many people are involved in these events? >> there are thousands and thousands of people being employed because of this convention. so it's making a big economic impact. we won't really know the final numbers until after it's over, after a study has been done. but we know that denver had an impact of over $100 million on those four days so we expect something like that.